so - took my wife on a double date with our son and his girlfriend to see Nutcracker and the 4 Realms this evening. Since the movie has been discussed in anticipation, now it is time to share thoughts about the movie now that I have seen it.....
Earlier today I was expecting to write about the Lone Ranger movie - as an old school Lone Ranger purist the new movie was a poor representation of the original characters - at best it was a gross retelling of the story that in no way represented the intent of the original TV series. This is what I expected from Nutcracker....that was the comparison I expected to make.....
but I was wrong. The movie was not based on the storyline of Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker - but another story using some of the characters called The Nutcracker and the Mouse King. I won't say too much about the plot for those that want to see the movie - but it is a different story all together - somewhere between Alice in Wonderland and Narnia. Clara is an intelligent young girl whose mother has passed and left her a puzzle box gift. Her Uncle Drosselmeyer knows she has to journey to the land of the realms to restore the balance her mother had there when she was queen. Aside from the names of the characters and the fact that the story happens at Christmas - there is nothing much else it has in common with the Nutcracker ballet. Even the Nutcracker music is more for ambiance than part of the storyline (the ballet shows up in the story to tell the narrative of Clara's mother). (by the way - some of the stuff in the trailers is not even in the movie...)
Part way into the movie my wife and I looked at each other and predicted who the true villains and heroes of the story were - it wasn't that deep. It was a lot of CGI and a pure steampunk fantasy. But we had a nice evening out. Time well spent with family. Don't expect a big Hallmark Christmas movie. Don't expect the Nutcracker ballet. It's just another Disney fantasy movie....
it's not even out yet and the negative reviews have started...
The Next Really Bad Nutcracker Movie - My Merry Christmas
MYMERRYCHRISTMAS.COM Disney is bringing out their version of The Nutcracker -- and you may want to hide the kids. This is Alice in Wonderland meets the Avengers. I am going to hold judgement on this one. Much like "the Man Who Invented Christmas" I don't think you should go into this movie with preconceptions or expectations. In the recent "Lone Ranger" movie with Johnny Depp, I think folks expected a flat retelling of the old story, not a new interpretation. There was a knee-jerk reaction against it because it wasn't just like the original. This looks to be a new, stylized interpretation of elements of the story. It impresses me as a steampunk fantasy. Of course now you have live action, special effects, and CGI. This is not going to be the traditional recognized ballet....
And by the way, for as much as it is known and loved, the Tchaikovsky hated the Nutcracker - he thought is was meaningless fluff. But remember, the story is a child's fantasy, a dream. Dreams can take different forms. This is somebody's new storyline for the dream. Like it or not - the Avengers are pretty cool right now - why wouldn't the movie industry capitalize on that? if you are an old-school purist you may not like it, but that doesn't make it wrong, it just makes it different. The original Nutcracker had sword battles and cannons and monster mice - pretty intense stuff for its day. This is trying to appeal to the kids of this generation - pretty sure most of them aren't into classical ballet.
I am going to see this movie. The worst is I will have wasted 2 hours on some mindless entertainment. I don't expect to go see the Nutcracker ballet. I have been pleasantly surprised by some movies, disappointed by others. I will hold judgement on this one until after I have seen it...
By Michael Rielly
Tis the Season for Christmas Movies
May 22, 2018
A new survey commissioned by MyMerryChristmas.com has determined that 46 percent of annual Christmas movie watching happens between Memorial Day and Labor Day.
The survey, conducted over a three day period offline in 7 American cities, reveals some surprising facts about summer Christmas movie watching in America.
More than 1 in 3 Americans will see something Christmas-related at home during the dog days of summer and of those a whopping 82 percent watch a Christmas-themed show on purpose.
The primary reason people watch so much Christmas during the off-season? Simple. There just isn’t time to see it all when it is Christmas in December.
MyMerryChristmas.com has conducted regular surveys since 1998 and this survey actually stemmed from another that wanted to determine if President Trump had actually affected how people were saying “Merry Christmas”, as he has claimed (he hasn’t, by the way).
But one of the ancillary questions on that survey, asked many times before in the past, was about Christmas movies. In studying those results a curious trend emerged that caused us to commission another survey just about Christmas movies.
Perhaps most revealing in the survey was not the fact that Christmas movies are watched but rather which Christmas movies were viewed during the summer months. Of more than 1800 respondents, here is the compiled top-ten of Christmas movies of summer:
Bad Santa The Muppet Christmas Carol The Polar Express Scrooged The Santa Clause While You Were Sleeping Home Alone Die Hard Christmas Vacation Elf This is a vastly different list than you traditionally see about Christmas movies in December. Some of these movies traditionally never make the top 25 much less the top 10 in December.
But where are the customary classics like It’s a Wonderful Life?
Those movies, the survey says, are seemingly reserved as must-watch, during the season.
The summer top ten tends to be movies that respondents claim they just didn’t get time to watch the previous year.
The Hallmark Channel made a splash in the news early this year for their announcement of the production of 34 new Christmas movies in 2018.
That heavy production schedule is indicative not only of how popular Christmas is as a movie theme but also of the appeal of year-round Christmas movies. Hallmark famously airs Christmas movies of the past to terrific ratings during the months of summer – a counter-trend to traditional television viewing habits in America.
Another interesting tidbit revealed by the summer Christmas movie survey is that the decline of Hollywood’s traditional summer blockbuster has seen the gap filled by the tried-and-true Christmas movie. 76 percent of respondents said they spend more time watching Christmas movies during the summer and less time watching the latest release at the local theater simply because old Christmas movies are more reliably entertaining.
For more information about our Christmas summer movie survey, please take a listen to the latest episode of the Merry Little Podcast.